Hyderabad, Aug.26 (ANI): India beat New Zealand in the first Test being played here by an innings and 115 runs on Sunday, the fourth day of the game.
Replying to India’s first innings score of 438, New Zealand managed to score 159 in their first innings and 164 in their second.
Spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Pragyan Ojha were the main architects of the victory, snaring 18 of the 20 New Zealand wickets to fall during the Test.
Ashwin, who claimed six wickets for 54 of 26.5 overs in the second innings, returned match figures of 12 for 85.
Backing him ably was Hyderabad left-arm spinner Ojha, who claimed three wickets for 48 in the second Kiwi innings, and six for 92 overall in the match.
Fast bowler Umesh Yadav claimed the lone wicket for 32 runs in the second innings.
For New Zealand, in their second innings, Kane Williamson top scored with 52 with four boundaries. McCullum scored 42 with three boundaries.
In their second innings, following on, New Zealand were 92 for 1 at lunch, still 187 behind the Indian total.
McCullum and Williamson formed the first fifty-plus partnership for the New Zealanders in the Test, adding 66. At lunch, McCullum was batting on 39 and Williamson on 31.
Persistent rain through the morning meant that play commenced only at 11 a.m., a two-hour delay from an already re-scheduled 9 a.m. start.
The Indian spinners were held off for more than 45 minutes of play, McCullum playing the assured hand, Williamson taking the risks of trying to drive against the spin.
R. Ashwin tried to lure him into a false stroke and Ojha came around over the wicket against Williamson.
The waiting game worked for New Zealand, Williamson driving Ashwin down the ground for a boundary the moment he over-pitched. McCullum pulled out his patent pull shot when Ojha bowled one short and on leg stump.
The Indians gave the first sign of having to resort to their plan B when Zaheer Khan came on in the 16th over of the day, replacing Ashwin. The ball wasn’t swinging as much as was expected under an overcast sky, and even though they were up against an expert practitioner, the New Zealanders were more than happy to handle Zaheer’s swing bowling at one end.
The only shout for India came early on in the session, in Ashwin’s first over. Williamson was caught on his crease as Ashwin struck him low on his pad.
As the ball struck him outside the line of the off stump, Williamson was given a reprieve, but was tested for the first quarter of the hour.
He pulled a short one from Ashwin and struck Cheteshwar Pujara on the side of his right knee at forward short leg.
Pujara had surgery around a torn ligament on the same knee last year and had to be taken off the field. Fortunately, the injury wasn’t serious.
Ashwin was declared the Man of the Match for his twelve wicket haul. (ANI)